Mikawa Yatsubusa Bark turning from green to brown

I have a 5 year old Mikawa Yatsubusa Japanese maple that has been growing very well the last two years. It was in a fairly large pot and then I transferred it over to an appropriately sized pot this last year and it responded quite well. I cannot be sure exactly what’s happening now but for whatever reason the bright green bark that it once was is not turning pale brown and it appears as though some of the buds are withering and dying. It happened very fast, I usually check my trees every few days but as it is late winter early spring in Kansas I am at that in between period where we go from having 70 degree days to 20 degree days in a matter of 48 hours or less. Coupled with that is a ridiculous amount of rain following a period of relative drought in our area. I am wondering if the cause of the browning is due to too much water on the roots? I moved the tree into the garage to keep it away from moisture for now but I was hoping to get a little insight as to what might be happening. Please it seems like this tree is on a quick path to death so and suggestions would be extremely welcome. Thanks all!


Hi @Blake_from_KC
pictures please?

First 4 are this year, the last pic you can see it growing on the back of the bench

My maple looked a lot like that at the base too. When I potted it I cut off those exposed roots and now I have like 4 root cuttings. I hope they grow. :crossed_fingers:t4:

Here’s pics of the root cuttings and a bonus Seiju Elm cutting that I stuck into there to see if it’ll root.

Here’s where they came from. Hopefully I don’t get too much die-back. :weary:

Judging by the pictures, that maple does not look healthy. It looks to be either suffering from a blight (verticillium maybe?) or has root related issues. The soil looks like akadama but even the previous year growth does not look super vigorous. Are you keeping the soil super wet all the time or allowing it to dry a bit between watering?

From what I can see, it does not look like it will recover. Has it pushed buds?

Are you familiar with a process I have read about, sometimes called “sweating”?

It seems to involve forcing new shoots from mature wood by enclosing them in black plastic with heat and lots of moisture until they ‘pop’. It might work on your root cuttings.

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Hmmm, interesting. I’ll look that up. I probably have everything I need to do it.

Harry Harrington refers to it as “the black bag trick” in this video of his home garden.

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